Despite a 27-13 Week 1 loss for the Giants, mixed in with an underwhelming performance from their super star running back, Saquon Barkley came away feeling good in his first game back after ACL surgery last year.
Prior to his injury, Barkley was known for his explosive play making ability. But on Sunday against the Broncos, he rushed for just 26 yards on 10 carries. He was also a non-factor in the passing game with only one catch for three yards and a drop.
Regardless, it was a big milestone for Barkley to make it through this contest unscathed, following the extensive recovery process he had to go through to get here.
“I felt pretty good. Got to knock some rust off. I feel like I was able to do that some plays,” Barkley told reporters. “I’ve got to go back and watch film, and see what I could’ve done better.”
The Giants need more out of Barkley, who will be relied upon to help turn this offense into a respectable unit. Although he took a big first step by making it through all four-quarters on Sunday, he must regain his Pro Bowl form as the season progresses.
After sitting out the entire summer due to COVID and a hamstring strain, Giants first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney made his NFL Debut in the regular season opener.
Unfortunately, he did not make much of an impact, catching two passes for -2 yards. Toney’s first reception of the game was a shovel pass behind the line of scrimmage, which lost six-yards.
Toney recorded just six total snaps, and did not play in the second half. But his lack of playing time should not come as a surprise, given how much time he missed, leading up to Week 1.
The University of Florida product should be more involved in the Giants’ game plan moving forward in the coming weeks. And after a less than ideal showing from the offense earlier today, they will need Toney to do his part if this unit is going to turn things around.
Frustrated Fan Base
In their first game playing in front of fans since December 2019, the Giants had an underwhelming performance against the Broncos.
Afterwards, head coach Joe Judge told reporters that he understood the crowd’s displeasure, which saw them exit MetLife Stadium early due to the outcome.
According to Judge, the Giants “have to earn the fans’ respect,” which is something they did not do in their first contest.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown, also echoed this sentiment.
“These people pay their hard-earned money to come see winning football,” said Shepard. “That’s what this franchise is all about, is winning… it’s been frustrating the past few years and I understand their frustration.”
Quarterback Daniel Jones agreed with Shepard and his head coach. Bottom line is, the team needs to play better.
“The fans showed up and brought a lot of energy, brought a lot of excitement, and we’ve got to do a better job performing and playing well,” said Jones. “We appreciate that and we’re determined to get it right.”
Alas, the Giants lost their season-opener for the fourth straight year. They will have a fast turnaround heading into their Week 2 matchup, as they are set to face the Washington Football Team on Thursday night.
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